Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday's Minilesson Magic-Comparing and Contrasting Characters

Thanks for tuning in today! For today's Monday's Minilesson Magic, I'm focusing on:  
This week, I want to share ideas for books you can use to help students compare and contrast characters within a story. Each book is coded as a picturebook (pb) or chapter book (cb) to help you plan.
Compare Rose and Blanche (PB)
Compare Rob and Sistine (CB)
Compare Nyasha and Manyara (PB)
Compare Rosemary and Grace (CB)
To compare characters across books, you could look at:


Once again, it's important that students have a vocabulary that is developed enough for describing characters. I have posted a few times about my character trait cards that were developed for this very reason. After having a minilesson much like this one go bad because students could not get beyond simple words to describe the characters, I decided I would have appropriate words for describing the characters ready before the lesson. Giving students a quick definition of each word OR waiting until the end of the read aloud to define the words and decide if they describe the characters is a great strategy that will surely help students connect a new vocabulary word to the character in a book and their actions and therefore connecting with the definition. I have also printed the character trait cards (from the powerpoint) off in color and posted them in the room. Students constantly look up at these cards to try to find better words to describe the characters.

RL4.3 Describe in depth a character, drawing on specific details in the text (a character's thoughts, words, or actions).
RL5.3 Compare and contrast two or more characters drawing on specific details in the text.

What books do you use for comparing and contrasting characters or teaching character foils?

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